Saturday, 19 May 2012

Shoreham & Southwick (13-20 May 2012)

Sunday 13 May.  Struggling with a cold I stayed local hoping there might be some tern passage as the wind went around to south-west.  Little was moving off Shoreham Harbour in the hour from 7am with just two Sandwich Terns hanging around. A flock of 18 Common Scoter flew east, 6 Turnstones flew over the harbour and a Peregrine came in from the sea and continued inland, presumably not one of the Southwick birds (one of which was seen on the chimney).  The platform at sea off Lancing seemed to be more visible than usual with a tall tower above it noticeable for the first time.

sea platform and tower from Shoreham Harbour
A stop at the Adur on the way home was surprisingly productive considering the tide wasn't very far out.  Single Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper were seen along with three summer-plumaged Sanderling and 8 Ringed Plovers while a Reed Warbler gave excellent views from one of the ditches.

poor shot of a summer-plumaged Sanderling on the Adur
Black-tailed Godwit on the Adur, all legs and bill
Black-tailed Godwit with tasty morsel

showing its black tail
Reed Warbler by the Adur

In the afternoon Megan and I heard a Lesser Whitethroat while walking around Mill Hill but nothing else of note was in evidence.

Monday 14 May. Ringed Plover on nest & Whimbrel heard

Tuesday 15 May. Ringed Plover on nest, adult male Black Redstart singing from Tarmac compound, female Wheatear on the beach, Rock Pipit by Carots Cafe & Peregrine heard from the chimney

Wednesday 16 May. Ringed Plover on nest, adult male Black Redstart singing from Tarmac compound & female Wheatear on the beach

Thursday 17 May.  no Ringed Plover (nest predated?), 1 Sandwich Tern off Hove, 6 Swifts over Crown Road

Friday 18 May.  1 Ringed Plover on the beach (none at nest site), Peregrine on chimney & 4 Swifts over Crown Road

Saturday 19 May.  14 Sandwich Terns east and 2 west and a Gannet east were all that was seen off the Harbour between 06:10-07.10.  Three colour-ringed Herring Gulls were around the harbour, one local and two North Thames although one of the latter was too far away to read.

The Adur on a rising tide was better with the Black-tailed Godwit still present along with 6 Whimbrel, a Greenshank and a first-summer Med Gull.  Two slow-worms were seen at the allotment and 15 Swifts were screaming over Crown Road in the evening.

local Herring Gull A6XV on the beach at Shoreham Harbour

North Thames Herring Gull GU5T on Shoreham Harbour
first-summer Mediterranean Gull on the River Adur
Black-tailed Godwit on the Adur

much the rarer of the two godwits on the Adur, this one seems to have taken up residence just south of the Old Toll Bridge
female Reed Bunting by the Adur
male Reed Bunting by the Adur

buntings are amongst my favourite birds and Reed is often one of the more under-appreciated members of the family although a good view of an adult male usually reveals a stunning bird
20 May 2012.  Still not over a cold and uninspired by the NE forecast I didn't go far again.  An hour seawatch, 06:05-07:05, from Shoreham Harbour produced 3 Fulmars, 55 Gannets, 2 Sandwich Terns and a flock of 19 Commic Terns flying east.  Three Great Crested Grebes were on the sea, the male Peregrine on the chimney and 3 Little Egrets and 2 Turnstone around the harbour.  Amongst the gulls on the East Arm was a Norwegian Greater Black-backed.  The Black-tailed Godwit was still on the Adur but there was no sign of any other waders.  A couple of bait diggers was perhaps the reason although later a walk around the Adur and the Houseboats with Megan produced just the godwit, 3 Swallows and Reed and Sedge Warblers.

Norwegian Greater Black-backed Gull JP188 seen on the East Arm of Shoreham Harbour.  Colour-rings are much harder to read on birds here than on the Adur as they are generally just that bit further away.  Early morning light, as experienced here, doesn't help either.

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